7 Scripture Principles for Business Leadership

Did you know that the Bible says more about money than any other subject? Even more than love!

Why do you think this is?

This may bring to mind your thinking that money is the root of evil, but, that’s not quite it. “For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.”1Tim 6:10

God knows that to fully love we have to put money into perspective.

So lets jump in with both feet…..

7 Business Leadership Principles from God’s Word:

1) God owns our money and trusts us to be a good steward of what He owns. See the Parable of the Talents in Matt. 25: 14-30 Likewise, God is so generous that he only asks that we tithe a small portion back to Him, and then gives us the rest to manage.

2) Who or what do we worship. When we look in our checkbook, where does most of our money go? Temporal things of this world, or do we channel our resources to bring value to the lives of others and thus share the Gospel?

3) Pay your obligations before yourself. I was raised in a family business, my parents made sure their vendors and employees were paid before themselves. Would you go without a paycheck to fulfill your vows as a business leader? See The Workers in the Vineyard in Matt. 20:1-16

4) When we donate our business resources what is our motive? Do we do it sincerely from our heart to serve the Lord, or to serve our business? Though, there is nothing wrong with the by-product of our sincerity to donate to also benefit our business, as long as we keep it in right perspective.

5) Business partnerships, is our first partner in business Jesus Christ? Do we read the Bible for principles and seek God through prayer to solve our problems?

6) Is our purpose of a Catholic in business to glorify God? Everything we say or do must be weighed against our purpose – does it glorify God? Read Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others”. If we are an employee then do we view our paycheck as a certificate of performance?

7) Share the Gospel in the Workplace. At one of the Parish Small Men’s Groups a man shared how his signature in company email “God Bless” got him in deep hot water. Does the culture of our workplace allow us to share the Gospel in word or only in action? What would Jesus do?

There is a delicate balance in sharing and living the Gospel in business today. And, as Catholic Men, we must walk our talk and seek to meet God where He is at work while we are at work.


Frank J Casella
CMCS Executive Director

If you want to hear God, you have to listen.

By Frank J Casella

If you have never experienced the presence of God, you may wonder how He reveals Himself. The Lord has many different ways of reaching out to His children, so the following is certainly not a complete list. But when you desire and know that Jesus is always near, He will choose the best way to connect with you.

God speaks. I don’t recall ever having heard the Lord’s audible voice, but I have experienced Him speaking clearly and forcefully to my heart. His communication is so unmistakable that those who hear Him remember the message and the reverent experience long after.

God sends a message. Sometimes the Lord lays on a person’s heart the need to get alone with Him. When this happens to me, God is usually saying He’s ready to give me this blog post, for example. It is unwise to ignore such urgings or even to delay until a more “convenient” time. Always do this as soon as possible — I have made the mistake of putting off listening only to discover that when I finally did slow down, the message was harder to receive outside of His perfect timing.

God makes His presence known through His Word. I recently meditated for several days on a scripture passage. I felt the prompting from God, as Fr. Larry Richards says to do, to open my bible and see what that page reads. You then write the verse down that speaks to you, and put it in your pocket to meditate on for as long as the Holy Spirit prompts you to do so. When I do this I knew that I’m in His presence because His Word was speaking specifically to my heart.

Believe the Lord is real and present in this world. He wants to share Himself with us so we can draw contentment, courage, and joy from His presence. To know what He’s saying, we must be willing to slow down and listen.

What do you listen to the most? Radio. Friends. The news media. People who you work with. Who has priority in who or what you listen to, God or someone else?

God’s plan is not the easiest, but it is the best. Have you asked God to show you His plan, will, and purpose for your life? How much time do you listen, or do you do all the talking, then get up? Often, when I feel it’s time to stand up that I’m done listening, it really means it’s time to listen deeper.

The concept called ‘Two Chairs’. This is where you sit across from an empty chair and see Christ as sitting there … and you listen. Give God time to speak. Other times I visit Holy Adoration at my parish and do the same, with the living Eucharist in front of me.

Some closing thoughts.  Sometimes it can take several days before we get His message. Sometimes I feel this restlessness, and this is how God gets my attention. I’ve now been conditioned to know the prompting .. don’t rush it, but in time you will learn it. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it.

For example, recently with a project I was working on with some other people, whom I didn’t know their spiritual walk or ‘temperature’, I felt that restlessness. Like something wasn’t right. There was this lack of structure from the leader for the group. I din’t know whether to pull out before the downward spiral happened, as God provided me the wisdom to see this, or to stay the course and provide them the (spiritual) voice of reason.

A Catholic friend who I trust, and who had knowledge of this group, said to me in passing what an issue that group has and how there are too many bosses. I believe God used that to speak to me. I spent much time mindful and prayerful on my purpose with this project, and what to do. The Lord at the next meeting prompted my heart (some of you may call this your gut) how toxic and a distraction this group was to my life and His will for me. It was really my ego that wanted me to stay.

I was able to see this because I am always making progress to live my life as a prayer, to see people and circumstances through God’s eyes, if you will. This takes practice and testing all the time to be sure you hear his ‘voice’, and make regular and prayerful conversation with Him. Also confirm it with the words from the Bible and the Catholic Catechism, the more time we spend in those words helps us to learn through our Faith what the Bible is saying to us.

So, the ‘flag’ was raised during this meeting and I challenged this group on their character and integrity. With that, God spoke clearly through them how I should make my exit and not stay in it. We have to be careful, because, what He says to us may clash with how other people think. Other times he puts it on our heart to just remove ourselves quietly from the matter. This is why we need to make time to listen to ourselves think. What’s more important, ease and pleasure, or hearing from God? Even if it’s ten minutes a day .. think in pure silence.

Sometimes He will stop us when we try our own way, other times not. It all depends what He wants us to know, or the lesson to be learned. To do this, I have found, we need to make time to drain our brain of our own thoughts and what’s going on in our life at the time. My brain can be so busy at times I have a hard time ‘coming in for a landing’. But as the Bible says, more of Him and less of us. The world around us can be so distracting … if we let it.

Yes, faith without action is not faith. Yet, action without listening is blind faith. Jesus provides clarity and direction when we are on His agenda and not ours, being in tune in listening to the Holy Spirit is the key.

When we repent, or visit our priest for confession, then turn to Christ with our head, gut, and heart, He knows then we are truly listening and this often times is when He can speak to us. His time, not ours. Focus on the Crucifix.

How much time in 24 hours do you listen to Jesus?


Frank J Casella is a photographer, and Executive Director of Catholic Men Chicago Southland. An Catholic Apostolate of Reverend Bishop Joseph N. Perry of Chicago.

About Free Advice

I only give free advice. Because there is a lot of it out there, and the advice you pay for may not work out because each person and circumstance is different.

Yes, there is a saying ‘same problem, different name’. But you don’t need to pay for it I think.

It is more important to buy books or webinars or listen to podcasts or read blogs. Gather information and then compile it into what works best for you.

Growing up, my parents believed that a financial adviser was nothing more than an unemployed insurance agent. Today, I find an number of advisers in many fields whom none of them I have found I can trust to pay money to tell me what to do with my career or my life.

True selling is about helping, it is not giving advice.

On the flip side, several people ask me for advice and I would never think of charging them for my thoughts. I make my living making pictures, and if my pictures inspire you then, yes, you should buy them. My advice, no. Though I have over thirty years experience as a photographer.

Likewise, I have several decades involvement with Catholic Men’s Ministry. Every week I’m either one-on-one with other men, or in a group setting, sharing free ideas and advice about growing in holiness, and how to be the best version of ourselves. I would never think to charge for this. Because the information shared and the impact made is priceless.

Seth Godin does a similar thing. He (says that he) does not charge for advice or consulting. He makes his living as a book author, etc.

The words of Jesus are free in the Bible, it’s the publishers who sell the book to be in business.

In comparison, I have over the years several spiritual directors. A spiritual director is a person who helps you discern what God is saying to you. This is advice from a person who is in tune with God and the Bible. A spiritual director has never charged me for their advice. Some people go further in to counseling from a spiritual perspective, however.

In choosing his disciples, Jesus said to them “come and see”. By doing this he invited them to develop relationship with Him so, in turn, they could help others. Jesus invites us all to this mission today.

When we provide sound advice to others, especially when they ask for it, then we help each other to make a positive difference in the world.

“For lack of guidance a people falls; security lies in many counselors”.

Proverbs 11:14

 

Enjoy your day.

 

Frank J Casella is an artistic photographer, and co-founder of Catholic Chicago Men’s Conference. 

 

Forgiveness is Key to a Happy Life

“Forgive me for the times I have not been a dutiful son, obeying the commandments, and making my life a sacrifice in tribute to your sacrifice on Calvary to forgive my sins.”

These are the words from A Man’s Prayer (PDF).  God loves us that He sent His only Son into the world to save us from ourselves. As Jesus was on the Cross, as an expression of His love, He looked up to God and said “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

How much more should we forgive others?

We not only live in a war-torn world but, more so today, in a country that seems torn apart. With all the shootings, protests, and how people think nothing to crucify each other, especially on social media, not to mention the tone of Politian’s today. Yes, we need a large dose of forgiveness in our society.

So, I have a plan for you ….

I don’t know if you would call it a resolution, because I think resolutions are like going to the dentist twice a year. Unless you brush your teeth every day, it doesn’t make a difference.

So here is the plan ..

About a year ago I decided to practice forgiveness. The result came to be that I started to experience a more happy life. I didn’t let things bother me as much. I didn’t let people know my mind unless they asked my opinion (that took some time!). When my wife or kids did those things that drove me nust (c’mon guy’s, you know what I mean) I just said a little prayer “Lord forgive them and me” and handed it to Him.

If you think about it, anger, and lack of forgiveness, happens mostly when things are not going our way. When we reach out to others in forgiveness we become a better person, instead of letting things eat us up inside. People also respond in a more positive way.

So, as a picture action and reminder, when something called for my attention to forgive, I picture in my mind to ‘open my fore arm and give’ = for give.

So I challenge you to make this a plan, and in a few weeks I’ll do a follow up post and then let me know in the comments how things are going, or contact me directly if you prefer.

Also, some other ways to practice forgiveness is with confession, or maybe with, or for, your spouse and the prayer for a broken marriage and other resources on the CMCS website.

The list to forgive is endless as I’m sure you can imagine.  Forgiveness is key to a happy life … think about it.

Frank J Casella is a photographer, and co-founder of the Catholic Chicago Men’s Forum.

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Bishop Joseph N Perry: Keep Us Thankful O Lord

10 lepers approached Jesus with the request that He heal them.  Jesus instructed them to first go to the priests and offer what Moses has prescribed.  And, on their way they were  cleansed.  One of them, realizing he had been cured, retook his steps to find Jesus and express his gratitude to God.  Jesus, upon receiving the man, was surprised that only one was inspired enough to give God thanks.  “Where are the other nine,” Jesus explained, sadly.  “Was there no one to give thanks to God except this foreigner?”  Luke 17, 11-19

In my short life thus far I have come to understand that thanksgiving takes on its highest meaning following experiences like suffering, chaos, deprivation, poverty and loss.

We raise our children to say thank-you whenever they receive something from someone’s generosity.  However, it takes time and life-experience for our children to understand the real power behind thanks.

For the pilgrims of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, of that first Thanksgiving in the year of our Lord 1621, the beauty of the world was found in its bounty.  They could hear the author of the Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy say, “The Lord, your God, is bringing you into a good country, a land with streams of water, with springs and fountains welling up in the hills and valleys, a land of wheat and barley, of vine and fig trees.”

Having arrived in an untamed world underneath it all for them was a deep love of nature and a sense that God was everywhere in the beauty and bounty of the earth.  They knelt to give thanks for that generous gift.  They were now safe after a long arduous journey and a hard winter of deprivation and the deaths of a number of their companions.

Now, in the Plymouth wilderness sitting down with first Americans, eating foods from the wild never before tasted, undoubtedly motivated by gratitude for survival but more deeply moved by a recognition that the graciousness of God had pulled them through the dark, cold days of the struggle to form a new colony away from oppression and religious persecution in their homeland from whence they came.

Pilgrims, they were trustees for future generations and were to set an example for a civilized new world, to, as St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians urges, sing “with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

So, where do the lepers of today’s Gospel come in?  Well, their story is one of giving and receiving.  A thanksgiving story, no doubt.

The inability to give or show gratitude is a mark of disfigurement, a kind of spiritual leprosy.  One who can neither give nor receive can never enter into a relationship of grace, a covenant of love. The leper who returned to Jesus to say “thanks” enters into a relationship with God.

The other nine stood far off, negating even the possibility that something could happen. They stood on the fringes of life because they could not, in their hearts, find time to give thanks. Their spirits remained leprous.  It is almost as if they took for granted that they would be cured, as if it were their right.  Their bodies were now whole, their souls still marked with decay.

Everyone of us has something for which to be thankful.  It helps, I think, to recall the chaos, suffering, deprivation that has marked your life so that power can be given the thanks you raise in prayer on Thanksgiving Day.  For there is wisdom to be discovered from the crosses we are asked to carry in life.

Like the pilgrims, most of us have fought the storms, banished the threats, overcome the fears and made covenants of friendship with God and each other. We are all pilgrims walking an earthly path on the way to a heavenly land where we will be giving thanks for all eternity.

Sitting down to the big meal seems like the highlight of Thanksgiving, but the highlight really comes a couple hours later.  The pumpkin pie is gone, the turkey is picked over, the dishes are done, relatives, friends and guests are gone, the kids and pets are snoozing and somehow, when all is quieted down, the labor for the feast is done, in the depth of your soul you join a whole nation, satiated with food and drink, as if embraced by the wide arms of God, and give a sigh of relief and say “Thank you God!”

Before you sit down to feast at a table others have prepared, remember to say thanks to the wife, the kids and anyone else who deserves to sense your heart and feel what you really mean to them.  Remember to lead your household in prayer in thanks to an all provident God!

We are born into this world with empty hands and we take nothing from this world with us in the end.  All that we have, we receive from the generosity of God.  Today, we thank God for his care of us and praise him for his kindness.

Please respond, “Keep us thankful O Lord!”

  1. We give you thanks O God for our Holy Father the Pope, our bishop, and his assistant bishops and all of our pastors who share in your ministry and authority; that you may guide them so that they exercise your power wisely, let us pray to the Lord.
  2. We give thanks O God for the many blessings you have showered upon us. For those who have not received as much of your bounty, for the poor and needy of your world, the unemployed and those who struggle in any way, we pray to the Lord.
  3. We give thanks O God for your limitless mercy and the treasury of your goodness which you share with us.  That those who do not recognize your love may become aware of your kindness, let us pray to the Lord.
  4. We give thanks O God for the family and friends you have given us.  That they may always know your generosity and protection and be appreciative of your gifts, let us pray to the Lord.
  5. We give thanks O God for the gift of redemption and the forgiveness of our sins; that our lives may show forth more clearly the predilection we enjoy by your Son’s death and resurrection for our sakes, we pray to the Lord.

Almighty Father, we give thanks to your majesty for the many gifts we have received; we ask you to continue your kindness and forsake us not, through Christ our Lord.  Amen!

+ JNP 2011

 

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Eve Sinned Because Adam Was Silent.

This is an update from the article archives for Catholic Men Chicago Southland.

By Frank J Casella

My youngest son has always had a love for basketball. When he was 10 years old he called me over to show me how he could make ten free throws in a row.  Not impressed, I said “nice job … now raise the net up to where it belongs”.  Impatient to grow taller, he lowered his goal.

Men, is this what you do?  We lower our standards and then become proud of our accomplishments. What would God be saying to you?

All of this goes back to Adam and Eve in the garden.  Eve sinned because Adam was not protecting her heart.  Adam lowered God’s standards by being silent when the serpent was having conversation with Eve (Genesis 3:6).

Up until that point Adam was talking and leading his life based on his relationship with God (Genesis 3:6). He was a Man who lead in such a way that Eve could not resist him.

Men, are you the priest of your house in such a way that your wife (or future wife) cannot resist you? God created Adam before Eve because Adam was to be responsible to both rule and lead.

Even though it was Eve whom the serpent tempted to eat the fruit that had been forbidden in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-6), it was Adam whom God went looking for. It was Adam who was responsible (Genesis 3:9).

The way to be a servant leader is to align yourself with God and know His will for your life.  When you have this goal, everyone in your life then benefits.  Our culture, on the other hand, would rather you be silent .. and serve your own selfish needs.

The reason so many men today are living without is because we misunderstand our goal and settle for trinkets, sports jerseys, TV remotes, golf clubs, nice cars, video games, careers, and vacations.  Those things are okay – unless they cause you to be misaligned with God and His will and take you off course of pursuing God’s own heart.

Look at it another way, many sports games have an official who prevents chaos by following the rules from the playbook – not his own ‘book’.  Men, is your playbook the Bible, or your own – chaos – human understanding?

Many men today are feeling smothered and gasping within because we do not know how to be a man. One thing that happens to a man when he can no longer breathe is that he will try to live vicariously through others. It is this man who, for example, will wear another man’s jersey with another man’s name and number on the back of it. Regularly.

Any man who has to all the time wear another man’s name on the back of his shirt may need to ask himself how he views his own manhood, and identity in Jesus Christ. Instead, we need to strive to wear our own jersey, and create our own identity in Jesus Christ.

Men, God has a standard. He has a goal in mind for your life: To be a servant leader after God’s own heart is that goal.

Yet what so many us men have done is lowered our standard. The results of this lowered standard affect so many more than just you and me. This lowered standard affects us all.

It shows up in our country. In our culture. In the economics of our world. You don’t have to look any farther than our homes, churches, communities, and globe to discover that men – not all, but many – have missed the goal to live as a servant leader after God’s own heart. The impact of a lower standard leaves its scars no matter what race, income bracket, or community a person is in.

The outcomes are different depending the the location, but they are devastating none the less. Some of which are Inadequacy, promiscuity, emptiness, depression, chronic irresponsibility, family breakup, misuse of finances, divorce, violence, chemical addition, overeating, indulgence, bankruptcy, low self-esteem, and general aimlessness plague our society as a direct result of the abuse or neglect of being the man that God calls us to be.

The call for men to come forth and stand for servant leadership, and being a man that God calls him to be, has never rung louder. Our world is on a path of self-destructive behavior. That must change. Yet that change will not occur unless us men – YOU – will raise the standard to where God had originally placed it.

My son is now 19 and still shooting free-throws. He is a coach for a basketball school. But it’s about more than being a coach. It’s about developing relationships with kids half his age, and showing them how to raise the standard too.

Because, since he was a kid himself, he’s raised the basket (standard) to where it belongs and has made hundreds of shots with the net at the right height – but he had to work at it.

One drill that we played along the way is to shoot ten in a row.  If you miss one shot, you start over.  My son rarely has to start over.  He now shoots over 200 free throws in a row. He tells me once you have the basic (free throw) down, other shots fall into place.

He has raised his goal and maintained that higher standard. Not in his strength, but through Christ who strengthens him (1 Timothy 1:12).  He has applied this standard to his life as well.
You can too. Will you?

 

Frank J Casella is co-founder of Catholic Chicago Men’s Conference, and Executive Direcor of Catholic Men Chicago Southland Apostolate.

 

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